CREATE A LANGUAGE LEARNING NOTEBOOK
Writing things down improves your chances of remembering it drastically (especially when learning a language), that is a proven fact. However, just writing vocab down on loose-leaf paper is a great way to lose or forget about that page. Creating a notebook specifically for your language is a solution for success. I created one recently. So far, I have been able to retain vocab and grammar more easily. Trust me, it really helps! Here is my advice:
1) Have a VOCAB section. -This is where you can write down words you have learned so far, Doulingo or otherwise. I recommend putting similar (as in being topic-related) words together. For example, label a page "FOOD" and put words related to food on that page.
2) Have a GRAMMAR section. -In this chapter, you can include conjugations of verbs, lists of verbs, and other grammar related tidbits you have learned. BTW, a great resource is Doulingo's Tips and Notes pages. You can just print the page out and paste it to your notebook.
3) Have a PRACTICE section. -Having a partition of your notebook devoted to practicing the language is SUPER helpful. You can practice writing sentences, creating convos, and much more. Later, you can check yourself.
4) Have a TABLE OF CONTENTS -Having a table of contents is immensely helpful when you want to find something specific. I suggest having a separate table of contents for both your GRAMMAR and VOCAB sections. I think having a TBC for a PRACTICE section is unnecessary, though...
I hope you all have a beautiful day!!!!!
BTW FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TRIED MY WAY OF ORGANIZATION PLEASE GIVE ME FEEDBACK AND YOUR RESULTS
DOWN BELOW IS ALSO A LINK TO MY EXPERIMENTAL STUDY PLAN:
CHECK IT OUT!!!!
Wow. This is a well planned out strategy. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Now I know how to make a language learning notebook. Now if I could just find my notebooks, I have one around here somewhere......
Haha thanks. :)
I literally based this on the format of my own notebook. When I first created it, I wasn't really thinking about specifics, but I realize it actually is a good strategy now!
Yeah my (amazing) Spanish teacher makes us divide ours by table of contents,culture, songs, vocab, stories, and grammar, with an extra practice spot in the beginning.
Oh wow! That's a lot of sections! However, that makes page distribution a heck of a lot easier. Also, it's very clear where to put things.
BTW, I LOVE your post on Ways to Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone. It's awesome and I will definitely use them!
Yep! When I started Duo, I knew I needed to have a notebook so that I could write down what I'm learning. It helps. I can flip back to the beginning and review. I also add info from other sites (for the grammar mostly).
When I am doing Duolingo Stories and I need to check a word, I will make a screenshot of it.
I will also do that if I need to look up words in a book I am reading (using Spanish to English translation).
Then later, I will copy the phrases or words onto a page in my cuaderno. I am reviewing them as I write them down. The next time I add more words, I review the ones I wrote the previous time.
If you are using a computer you can put your cursor over the word if it has a faint underline and the meaning will come up for you.
Yes but that's not learning the language then. It's basically the same as cheating in a test. Imagine you're taking a Maths test (not Math - that's wrong) and the answer is on the wall. Yes you will get the answer right but you won't learn anything or it proves you haven't revised (enough).
I try not do that because I feel I'm not actually "learning," but I do use this shortcut when it's a COMPLETELY new word. However, I can usually figure it out (on my own).
It’s not cheating if you don’t know the word. That’s how you learn the word.
If I don’t know the word “la manzana” for example in the sentence... “Me gusta la manzana” (for example), then I will click on the word to find out it means “Apple”. So that’s my first exposure to the word. Then I make a screenshot of that word as well as the other words that I may have encountered during my studying.
Later, I will copy the words down into a notebook. By reading the screenshot again, I am having another exposure to the word. Then I copy it down into the vocabulary section of my study notebook. That’s my third exposure to the word. Sometimes I just draw a picture to help me remember the word rather than the English translation.
Then I will often re-read and study the pages of words that I have previously written, that will be more exposure to the words. I will sometimes take a highlighter and highlight them in yellow to create another visual in my head as well (since my brain can recall the colors combined with the photos).
Of course, this might not work for you but it has proven successful for me as I am able to recall much more Spanish vocabulary by seeing, reading, copying, and reviewing the word. Even though I did at first hover over the word.
If I don't know the word, I click on it. After that, I don't. But I'm glad you have found something that works for you so well!
think anything that helps you to remember words and phrases. The worst for me is how to spell the words. I know the words but forget the spelling.
i find that keeping a diary really helps too - you find which words you need to use a lot and also which grammar and this helps with speaking too. also if you highlight the words you have trouble with and then learn them, it is really satisfying to see the amount of highlighted words go down as you get better and better at your target language
I have heard of those. It's a great way to just practice writing something, even though small, every day. That way you don't feel obligated to write something tremendous.
Thanks for sharing that!
BTW, I actually do have a diary (but I don't write in it often). Anyway, when I used to write in it more, I would sometimes write in Spanish. Now, when I look back at it, I see how much I have improved (in grammar especially). It is really satisfying. :)
Anyway, I think your strategy with the highlighted words would be incredibly helpful. I think I want to try that!
One thing that I've also found extremely helpful (especially for me as a writer) is to write a story about people who speak the language that I'm trying to learn. I did that once and was extremely surprised at how much it helped!!! So I'd recommend that, especially if you're a writer, too, and if you're not, try and include your language into your favorite hobby!
Thank you for the advice! I'm not a writer but I love writing stories, both in my native language (Russian) and in others that I know well (English, Spanish). I'll try to write more stories in the languages I'm learning.
I love writing as a matter of fact! Thank you so much for that suggestion!
Demasiado trabajo. :P
Actually, it's a great idea, and I agree with the notion that writing things down and studying in your own method is helpful.
My problem is that I can't quite partition out a notebook properly to cover everything I want in the way that I want.
Meaning I'll have several pages dedicated to food, as your example, but then right after that section may be, say, appliances, and then later on I learn another new food thing and I can't fit it on my old food pages because maybe they're full so I have to flip through to a different new page in my notebook and continue food 20 pages later... I guess this is where you Table of Contents comes in handy.
However, I'm wondering if doing this on loose-leaf paper that's pre-punched and then inserting it into a partitioned binder might help with the organization.
Thanks for reading my neurotic ramble.
Maybe. The binder thing might actually be easier....
(Well, it depends. There are bad things AND good things about it.)
Well, I feel like there is less space because the paper is encased in so much plastic. Also, you can't put interactive notes on there (I am talking about the things you can print out that have flaps and folds on them, like the things you'll get at school. Get what I mean?).
Yeah... I don't know. For some reason, I also just like notebooks better anyway.
I think that on-real-paper notebooks work very well.
Also, if its not possible to use paper, there are online solutions.
At the moment I use "Evernote" - I organise my notebook roughly by skills in Duolingo. Its just a list of Duolingo sentences and their translations and pronunciation.
I group them, putting similar ones/the same grammar point together.
It is possible to write words with different alphabets together in an evernote file. (e.g. Japanese and English)
Other options are: One note Google drive Dropbox/microsoft word online
I now have an account! Thanks so much! (Evernote is a great online notebook resource).
Oh yes, I have 4 of these. I used what most people would use for journals, that I got from the bookstore. They are half the size of a note book with cloth covers - easier to tote around and more durable because they are actual blank books. I would write down vocabulary and hard sentences I didn't understand. I should pick mine up and start adding again. I don't remember when I stopped using them but I did use them for at least the first 3 years I was here. You are correct, they really did help. I don't think I could have finished my Italian tree without one. There were too many tenses on the last quarter of that tree.
Haha, I have plenty too (most of which I threw away). The thing is, they were all school notebooks, and I saw no point in keeping them. However, I will keep the new one I am making because I like the organization. This organization idea was inspired by a Spanish notebook I had to make for school.
Thanks Sra. Munevar!!!!
I use a spiral and it has been really useful! I have a section dedicated to vocab (they are organized accordingly as well-food,animals, verbs, adj, etc.). I split the page in half for spanish/english translation. I also have a section for grammar rules with examples. It helps me remember and is a good reference tool :)
we are trying post it notes on items around the house. going to start doing our shopping list in Spanish 2 to try and remember food otems.
I have done the same. I have a notebook I write vocabulary in. At first it was just for nouns and verbs but soon I realized I needed to write out sentences for phrases, greetings, and questions. It has helped a lot considering this program requires you to write words out. Thank you for posting.
It´s been a week I´m procrastinating a lot with this. As i have seen this post which has simplified some of my work, i´ll hop onto a new notebook after i wake up. Thanks for the post.
Thanks so much for this idea! I will definitely be incorporating it in my language learning. I have often before tried to have a language notebook, but never found a good way to organize it.
You are welcome! You don't have to follow my organization completely; but it is a good foundation.
i love this and its well planned out (but any tips for page distribution? that part stresses me out...)
What do you mean by that? Like, how much space you should give each category and/or the TBC?
Also, thank you.
like for the "food" category. how many pages for food. I saw somewhere that someone suggested a binder. that might help me.
Yeah.. you might try that.
Anyway, if a page (FOOD for example) is so full that I can't put any more words on it, I just continue it on another page....
However, what I think you are trying to say is: "What do I do if I have another word that should go in the FOOD category but there is another page with another category in between?"
Well, what I do is go to the next available page and write FOOD 2, (you know, the corresponding number) and continue the list.
OR, if you want to avoid this, maybe give a category 2-3 pages instead. If there are any vacant pages you didn't need for that category, just insert a different one.
BTW, I think it's ok to have half-empty pages, so don't try to start another category on a half-full page of another category.
Did I answer your question?
I use 'two-hole binders' so that I can add to sections by simply inserting a fresh sheet of paper where necessary.
I do the same thing... you are absolutely right, these techiques really do help.
thank you im recently doing a pretty french notebook but the grammar is so hard dont know where to start T-T
You are very welcome. Honestly, starting is probably the hardest. Once you get in the groove, it's rock and roll time!
Keeping a language notebook is definitely a very good habit and I envy you guys. In my case however it has proved to be... descouraging. I mean taking notes, organizing them, requires so much time and effort. I ended up putting back my self-study sessions, hoping to find more suitable time when I could enjoy longer, uninterrupted periods of time and do everything properly, notes included. Not surprisingly, I started to study less. There was also guilt about not sticking to my plan of "keeping a language notebook". Guilt = less motivation = higher chances of dropping out. So in the end I find it more beneficial for me to do a small, imperfect portion of study (without making proper notes in a notebook or anywhere) than doing nothing. I also prefer to invest my time into doing more exercices/ reading sth that covers the topic than making notes about it. I do use a flashcard app for vocab. though. But that's definitely a good plan for a language notebook and I'm thinking of giving it a try, maybe it will work for me this time.
Maybe. You'll never know until you try!
Please let me know how it goes for you!
Thanks for the tip! I'm currently using my old notebook and using the extra pages as a spanish reference. I definitely agree with using a notebook rather than loose-leaf paper because you can keep everything in one place.
That was the reason I keep a notebook. All of that loose-leaf paper is super easy to lose, but also, it's messy!
I'm one of those OCD people who needs everything to look/be perfect.
Buena idea, Pará aprender un nuevo idioma necesitamos conocer la estructura gramatical de mismo: Pronombres Conjunciones Articulos Adjetivos y mas Género y número Verbos y sus conjugaciones Vocabulario Casa Famila Escuela Trabajo Viajes Animales Colores Alimentos Ropa Es decir, el árbol de Dúo, Conversaciónes, etc De esa manera podríamos organizar los contenidos, Yo hago anotaciones más para entender que para memorizar, Y Más que por competir, Cúando inicio una unidad me gusta llevarlo hasta el final y por mas que me haya equivocado al inicio, al final el tema me resulta sumamente familiar, Así que, adelante todos, con mucho ánimo y gracias por compartir sus estrategias de aprendizaje , y gracias Dúo, por esta maravillosa iniciativa,
Write every word AND how to speak it. starting from the first lesson... that helped me a lot.
Thanks for the tip! I thought of doing that, but I don't have enough room in my notebook. Plus, I can always just hear Duo saying it.
Awesome advice, Sweet_and_Savory! This strategy has worked for me as well. I’ve learned quite a bit of Greek in the past two months and I have a Greek notebook (plus a long Word document) as evidence of my effort. Soon, I won’t be able to use the idiom: “This is all Greek to me.”
Haha. I have created a lot of extra things to aid my effort such as my notebook, a study plan, word docs, etc. The problem is actually having the self-control to follow your plan.